Kerry Kennedy crash: Trucker pleads not guilty

Kerry Kennedy leaves the North Castle courthouse after

Kerry Kennedy leaves the North Castle courthouse after pleading not guilty to charges of driving while under the influence of drugs stemming from a traffic incident that occurred July 13, 2012. (July 17, 2012) (Credit: John Meore)

The Dutchess County truck driver whose tractor trailer was hit by Kerry Kennedy's vehicle while she was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs has mailed in a plea of not-guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident in North Castle.

The plea by Rocco Scuiletti, 47, arrived at North Castle Town Court on Monday, ahead of his scheduled Tuesday court date, News12 has learned. Scuiletti's new court date is Sept. 7.

Kennedy, 52 -- a Bedford mother of three, the ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy -- pleaded not guilty July 17 in North Castle Town Court to the misdemeanor charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Kennedy denied after the July 17 hearing that the powerful prescription sleep aid Ambien was the cause of her July 13 crash on Interstate 684. She said a battery of neurological tests had revealed she suffered a "complex partial seizure," which caused her to sideswipe a tractor trailer driven by Scuiletti, of LaGrange, about 8 a.m.

Kennedy told reporters that she had no recollection of driving erratically while on her way to the gym, hitting the truck, then exiting I-684 at Route 22, where a police officer caught up to her at a red light.

Kennedy was driving her 2008 Lexus.

"I remember getting on the highway and then I have no memory until I was stopped at a traffic light and a police officer was at my car door," she said then. "In my discussion with the police officer, I was confused and erratic."

Kerry has acknowledged telling police soon after the crash that she might have accidentally taken an Ambien pill instead of her daily dose of Synthroid, a medication prescribed to treat a thyroid condition.

A police blood test confirmed she had Ambien in her system.

Kennedy's next court date is Sept. 11.

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